March 23, 2018 at 9:53 a.m.

Easter dishes you might like

Easter dishes you might like
Easter dishes you might like

The celebration of Easter is approaching soon. If you are hosting a dinner and are thinking ahead to what your menu will consist of, I have recipes for a vegetable  and a dessert you might consider serving.    
                                                                                                                           
The deep, rich orange colored sweet potato comes in several shapes and sizes. When I shop for them I try to buy the same size skinnier ones so they cook in the same amount of time. Those that are straighter and uniform in size are easiest to peel and cut. Sweet potatoes should never be kept in the fridge because their natural sugars will convert to starch, making them less sweet.  They’ll keep up to three weeks in a cool, dry place. This might sound kinda weird but I keep them in an open brown paper bag in a closet where it’s dark and cool.

When you’re baking sweet or white potatoes, bake a couple extra; you’ll have them on hand for 4-5 days to use in recipes or just to reheat.  Five medium sweet potatoes cooked, or 2-16 oz cans equal about 4 c. mashed. Four medium equal about 2-1/2 pounds. Five large equal about 3-1/2 pounds.

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PINEAPPLE ‘N HONEY SWEET POTATOES
3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 –inch cubes
Water
1 – 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained, save juice
1 – 8 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained
1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. coarsely chopped pecans

Put sweet potatoes in large saucepan. Add water just to cover.  Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium; cook, covered, 10 minutes or until tender.  Drain in a colander and let stand 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine crushed pineapple, pineapple chunks and potatoes. Transfer to a 2-1/2  qt. or 9x13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl combine honey and  juice from crushed pineapple; pour over potatoes. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Stir; sprinkle with pecans if you wish. Bake 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through.  Makes 10-12 servings.  

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BAKED CRISPY SWEET POTATO FRIES
2 lbs. (4 medium) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 T. olive oil
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
Dipping sauce, optional

Halve the potatoes and cut into 1/2 –inch wedges. In a medium bowl, toss with oil, salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 35 minutes. If you wish to use a dipping sauce, you can use honey-mustard or ranch dressing or just eat as is.   Makes 4 servings.

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SWEET POTATO PIE
3 large baked sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 c. butter, melted
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. lemon flavoring
2 eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 c. half-and-half OR evaporated milk
1 – 9-inch unbaked deep-dish pie shell

Bake potatoes at 400 degrees 40-45 minutes or until tender. Cool; remove skins. Mash or whip potatoes in a large mixing bowl. (You should have 2 cups.) Add butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and lemon flavoring; set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks slightly. Add to potato mixture with milk/cream; set aside. Whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold gently into potato mixture. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes; reduce temperature to 350 degrees, bake 25-39 minutes more until center tests done. Cool on wire rack.  Makes 8 servings.  Note: If you don’t have lemon flavoring, substitute 1 t. lemon juice.

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CINNAMON SWEETS, APPLESAUCE & SWEET POTATOES
1-18 oz. can (dry pack) sweet potatoes cut in 3/4 –inch slices, crosswise
1 c. applesauce
2 T. red cinnamon candies
3 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 T. butter or margarine, softened

Place half the sweet potatoes in a 1-qt. casserole. Combine applesauce and candies. Carefully spread half the mixture over potatoes. Repeat layers with remaining potatoes and applesauce. In a small bowl, combine last 3 ingredients; dot over top of mixture. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Makes 6 servings.

Thought for the Day: On a personal note….two of our daughters were both born on this date two years apart. The older one didn’t think this was a big deal. She pouted because she didn’t like sharing her birthday with her sister!

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